Slightly older, slightly smarter, but still slightly naive: Lessons from first semester

Photo of Gerard Creces holding a coffee cup on his first day back at college in September 2022 CREDIT: GERARD CRECES
This is me on the first day of school. So much much naivety.

By the time this article runs, the holidays will be over and 2023 will be in full swing.

Second term is here, providing a welcome break from dead celebrity recaps and reading people’s well-intended but certainly doomed New Year’s resolutions on social media. It’s an exciting time. Gone are the class lessons of last term, pushed out of my skull by a steady stream of baked goods and video games. The life lessons, however, thankfully remain.

Even though I’m in second year, I still learned some very hard lessons this past term that perhaps I should have known or at least anticipated.

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If I could travel back to late August and talk to the tanned, hopeful version of myself, here are some things I would mention.

1. Enjoy the slow start

Every semester I get so frustrated when the first two weeks are spent ‘getting to know you’ and not digging straight into the curriculum. And yet, these weeks are a blessing and should be enjoyed to their fullest. A 20-minute class spent talking about a syllabus? Heaven!

2. Be prepared for a messy ending

I’m in the carpentry program, but I’m sure this is true of all classes. The final few weeks of the term are an absolute nightmare, complete with daily quizzes, assignments and, of course, final exams. The piper has come to collect on all that free time from the start of the semester, so make sure you’re physically, mentally and emotionally prepared. Do not make any commitments to friends and family during this time. Veg out in the down time.

3. Despite knowing this, it will still suck

Not so much a separate life lesson as it is an affirmation that yes, the end of term is horrible.

4. Watch your wallet!

I am by no means a big spender. In fact, my family might say I’m a bit on the frugal side. However, when the loan money dries up in that last month of classes, it’s easy to regret all those school lunches and paying for parking four days a week. Maybe this term I’ll ride the bus more. Maybe. Which brings me to my next point...

5. Pack a lunch!

There are many, many delicious options available at Fanshawe, and I have indulged in most of them. However, moderation is key – especially when second-term OSAP is significantly less.

6. Take part

Working at the Interrobang has definitely broadened my Fanshawe horizons, but this term I should take in a social activity or two and flex my friendly muscles. I always stop to look at the bulletin boards and think, “Wow, that sounds pretty cool,” but I never attend any events. I need to get over the whole “I’m an old guy” thing and try something new.

But enough of this shoulda, coulda, woulda. It’s time to embrace a new term, new subjects and new routines.

Look out, Fanshawe, here I come – just a bit more slowly due to the aforementioned baked treats.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.